The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Tuesday suspended entry from 20 countries from February 3. The decision, based on recommendations from Saudi health officials, is to help curb the spread of COVID-19. However, the entry ban doesn't apply to citizens, diplomats, health workers and their families.

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Interior announced that entry for people arriving from India, Pakistan, UAE, the US and others will be barred temporarily. The order comes into effect 10 p.m. UAE time (11:30 p.m. IST) on Wednesday.

mohammad bin salman
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin SalmanFETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty Images

Saudi bans entry from 20 countries

Here's a list of all the 20 countries from where entry would be barred into the Kingdom:

  1. United Arab Emirates
  2. Argentina
  3. Germany
  4. United States
  5. Indonesia
  6. Britain
  7. South Africa
  8. France
  9. India
  10. Pakistan
  11. Egypt
  12. Lebanon
  13. Ireland
  14. Italy
  15. Brazil
  16. Portugal
  17. Turkey
  18. Sweden
  19. Switzerland
  20. Japan

The suspension would also include travellers who transited through the above-mentioned countries within the 14 days prior to their planned journey to Saudi Arabia. Although a temporary entry ban, the ministry did not clarify when the suspension would be lifted.

Grand Mosque Mecca
General view of the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia September 9, 2016.Reuters

Coronavirus in Saudi Arabia

The decision to suspend entry from 20 countries comes the same day as the Kingdom recorded four new COVID-19 related deaths on Tuesday, taking the total death toll to 6,366. The Ministry of Health confirmed 310 new cases of coronavirus in the previous 24 hours, which took the total to 367,276. Of this, 2,146 remain active and 375 in critical condition.